A Miniature Ecosystem

11.13.2011 · Posted in Uncategorized


Did you know that you can create your own mini ecosystem for any room in your house or dormroom? All you need is a pet fish, preferably a beta, a large vase, a green plant (try a peace lily plant), and of course water! When you put all of these elements together you have a lovely decorative piece for any room and you have a happy and healthy pet beta. These mini ecosystems tend to work very well and they are very successful because they serve as a complete ecosystem, providing necessary services and nutrients to each other and removing each other’s wastes. An ecosystem is a complete biological system that works in cycles to produce the proper nutrients and remove the wastes of each living thing. The organisms in an ecosystem depend on each other and work together to ensure each other’s survival.

The fishbowl ecosystem is very interesting and easy to learn from if you are interested in seeing how an ecosystem works. This simplified version of an ecosystem can serve as a model for how more complex and biologically diverse ecosystems operate in the natural world, with several different organisms interacting with one another and serving a specific role in their environment which prevents the ecosystem from collapsing. 

So here’s how the fishbowl ecosystem works. When the water, plant, and fish are all in the vase the fish gets its oxygen from the water and is able to survive in the water. Then the fish excretes some nutrients and minerals that the plant can use for its own growth and sustenance. The plant in turn takes up CO2 and converts it to oxygen, which enters the water and can be used by the fish, and also the some fungus grows on the plant’s roots, providing food for the fish. This cycle of dependency and recycling nutrients occurs continuously and all organisms are able to live in harmony in this mini ecosystem.

These mini ecosystems are not only fun to look at and watch, but they also are a great solution to having a pet in your dormroom too!

-Aimee Morrison

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